Friday, January 24, 2014


How ironic, thought Thorogood, the economy's collapse coming forty days and forty nights after the Internet crashed. A quiet agnostic, he guessed this coincidence likely nothing more than that, although he kept the thought to himself. Were he able to Tweet Jane, she would have appreciated the coincidence as well. She might in fact have thought it herself, as the Collapse coincided to the day, so far as most anyone could know, two-score days following the abrupt termination of all digital communication on the planet, so far as most anyone could know.

Now, alone on the road, Thorogood struggled to marshal his warring emotions, foremost among them a mood of dread, a faceless stubborn swell of various dire possibilities that periodically pushed up from his intestines and through his chest into his head, occasionally with no apparent invitation from slack or reactive reasoning. Vying with these surges of black mood to compromise a reliable grip on the fragile optimism he believed kept him going was his grief and anger over the loss of his son and daughter to this apocalyptic turn of events. His teenage son, Jethro, as with most of his generation, had been unable for the first several days to disabuse himself of hope his smart phone would somehow return to life. By the thousands youngsters swarmed into the streets shuffling aimlessly, many mumbling to themselves, heads bowed as their eyes stared fixedly at the plastic devices in their hands. Some used both hands – one holding the device while a couple of fingers of the other tapped desperately on the tiny blank screens. Jethro was one of these.

“He's trying to text,” his sister, Esther, told her father. “I tried at first, too. I thought maybe it was just the screen, you know? The light or whatever? I finally gave up.”

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Chapt. 47 (1st draft -- Situation Questionable)

A wake of crackling energy washed into the White House Situation Room behind Victor Maranzano. It was this, the energy, that first drew Harry Trueblood's attention rather than the man who brought it with him. Short and skinny, thick glasses, uncombed shock of dark brown hair bristling above his narrow face, bursting in with no warning from the Secret Service agent monitoring the door, the attorney general's physical presence was negligible, diminished even further by his threadbare jeans and baggy plaid flannel shirt.

Awright what the fuck's the deal here? Where's Kudlow?” He rotated his wispy torso impatiently back and forth flicking his eyes around the room until he settled on Trueblood. “Who the fuck are you?”

Harry Trueblood. And you?” Trueblood saw Bart Gladstone, face averted, convulsing under apparent strong emotion. It was Bart who'd suggested Trueblood sit in the president's chair at the head of the conference table.

Maranzano abruptly turned to Bart. “Gladstone, goddammit, who's this asshole sitting in the chair? What's this all about?”

The president...”